Good Question: Is the DMV being careless with your tax dollars?

October 01, 2018 08:06 AM

Technology all other businesses were required to have years ago, is missing from local DMV offices.
Pat Taney was asked why for this week's Good Question report.
A viewer reached out to Pat after visiting a Department of Motor Vehicles office in Monroe County. When he went to pay with his credit card, there were no chip card readers.

He asked why and if the state is on the hook if there is fraud?


It's been exactly two years since major credit card companies told all businesses to install chip readers or pay the consequences for any fraud associated with any transaction.

News10NBC visited the Henrietta DMV and nearly all other locations.

There are no chip readers at any of the payment kiosks.

"That isn't right. They are very much behind the times," said DMV customer Daniel McTigue.

In October 2015, credit card companies adopted what is known as the EMV compliance declaration. They made it clear they won't pay for fraud if a business doesn't have chip readers installed.

It's not against a state or federal law to not a have a chip reader, but liability has now shifted from the credit card company to the business.

"That puts New York State on the hook," said McTigue. "That's the taxpayers. That's us. came right back to us didn't it?" 

So why?

We reached out to Monroe County and our questions were referred to the state DMV office in Albany.

"All of our current credit card payment devices are compliant with payment card industry (PCI) standards," said Lisa Koumjian, spokesperson for the NYS DMV.

To meet those industry standards, the DMV has proven it has a secure payment network with added protections against fraud, even if it's using the swipe machines.

But still, industry experts say the chip is the best protection and it appears, although late, the DMV agrees. The agency will be installing chip readers at all offices by this fall.

So has the state had to pay for any fraud associated with credit cards? When Pat asked that he was not given a direct answer.

News10NBC did discover any case of fraud would be disputed and come back to the DMV as a charge back.

"Instances of credit card charge backs are incredibly rare in DMV offices," Koumjian said. 

But when asked how many charge backs and if the state has had to pay for any fraud, she was unable to give us an answer by the time this story aired.

News10NBC will be following up and filing a formal request for this information through the Freedom of Information Act.

If you have a question you'd like Pat to answer, send him an email to


Pat Taney

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